GARY CULLY has set his sights on cracking America – and desires to rekindle an 11-year-old rivalry with Shakur Stevenson.

The ‘Diva’ this week signed a brand new long-term cope with Matchroom simply months after penning an preliminary three-fight contract with them.

Cully says it would cowl him for the subsequent ‘16-18 months’ and has large plans to disrupt the stacked light-weight division over the course of them.

The 26-year-old southpaw, of Naas, Eire, admits his profession had lacked course earlier than he linked up with Eddie Hearn however is now hoping to observe the trail trodden by many Irish boxers by changing into a star within the USA.

“Katie Taylor, Mick Conlan, John Duddy, Andy Lee, Steve Collins the checklist goes on,” he says. “Conor McGregor did huge numbers too. 

“It’s one thing I’ve seen individuals do and I’ve already deliberate to do it myself. I imagine I can carry the nation over with me.

“Over in America there are some huge fights there. There are many Irish within the States, we journey too, so I imagine I can harness that and have some large nights over there.”

For now, nonetheless, Cully will marketing campaign on this facet of the pond. He’s anticipated to field late subsequent month within the UK and victory will arrange a spot on the potential present at Dublin’s 80,000 Croke Park which is pencilled in for Might 20, which Taylor’s rematch with Amanda Serrano is anticipated to headline.

Ought to he win each, Cully will by then be knocking on the door for the 135lbs world titles, which may fragment this yr with Devin Haney set to maneuver as much as 140lb.

And there’s one man in that shake-up that Cully has been monitoring for longer than a decade.

“I used to be in Russia in 2011 as a part of an Irish junior staff at a multi-nations event, and the USA have been there,” Cully recollects.

“I boxed at 50kg then however myself and Shakur did a little bit of sparring once we have been there and there was a little bit of needle between the Irish and American lads about who would win out of us two.

“We’ve all the time carried that from then and I stated to him ‘once we’re older, I’m going to go to the States and we are going to make some cash within the MGM Grand in the future’. He stated ‘yeah, let’s do it’. 

“I believe he’s very, very skilful and I’ve all the time seen myself preventing him in the future. That’s the mega combat for me; going over there and taking over Shakur in the future. That was 11 years in the past now.

“However I believe there are such a lot of large names and large fights. I believe Haney will combat Loma, perhaps have another at 135 after which transfer as much as 140. Then all of the belts will scatter across the place and grow to be vacant. Which means there can be alternatives for me to step up and be in place when it does occur. Eddie has seen that as nicely.

“I believe Haney is No.1. I’d most likely have Stevenson subsequent, though he hasn’t fought at light-weight but. Then Gervonta might be No.3 for me after which Ryan Garcia after him – in the event that they combat it will likely be big.”

Cully additionally believes he can be bolstered by the return to health of his coach Pete Taylor, father of Katie, who had each legs in casts after a freak accident whereas chasing a thief throughout a vacation in Barcelona in November. On the time, Taylor stated he anticipated to be in a wheelchair for 12 weeks however he’s already again on his ft.

“Pete is mad,” Cully says. “He’s again strolling already, I don’t understand how.

“If it was anyone else they wouldn’t be strolling. He was in a wheelchair for a few weeks however he’s very headstrong – he’s again on his ft and I believe he can be holding pads earlier than my subsequent combat.”

The 6ft 2in Cully has emerged as a famous puncher following a collection of vicious knockouts, together with a fifth-round blowout of sturdy Miguel Vazquez final March. He adopted that up by placing away the overmatched Jaouad Belmehdi in simply 35 seconds in October.

“It means I would like some rounds in February,” he says. 

“I’d like to combat somebody like Jorge Linares at Croke Park so I can’t actually go from one-round knockouts into preventing somebody like Linares, who has had 50 fights and fought on the prime degree for years.

“I’ve been previous the sixth spherical as soon as in my profession in 15 fights so I would like somebody sturdy who can present that – after which an enormous identify in Croke Park. By the tip of the yr I wish to be knocking on the door for these world titles at light-weight.

“I’ve seen lots of people point out Richard Commey. He’s an enormous identify who has fought at title degree for years now – any person like him can be nice.”

For now he has to give attention to February but when all goes to plan, the highway to America – and Stevenson – will open up.

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